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Turning Comedy into a Career

02.19.2014

Few college students get the chance to meet giants in their fields, but High Point University junior Hayley Ellman has earned the chance to do just that.

Hayley Ellman Intern Sushi ProfileEllman, an electronic communication major, was hand-picked by “Funny or Die” president Mike Farah through Intern Sushi’s contest to conduct informational interviews with industry leaders. Students are selected as winners based on the creativity, work and experience displayed on their profiles. To honor her achievements, Farah will participate in a one-hour phone interview with Ellman where she will be able to ask questions, converse and learn all she can from him.

“It is a rare opportunity for a newbie or anyone outside of the industry to have that much one-on-one time with someone of Mr. Farah’s stature,” says Ellman. “I submitted my Intern Sushi profile to his influencer contest because my career goal is to work in comedy production. He personally reviewed my profile, and I am very excited to meet him.”

Ellman also earned a badge of approval on her Intern Sushi profile from influencer Heather McDonald, producer for “Chelsea Lately.”

The HPU junior says she wouldn’t stand out to potential employers as much as she does if it weren’t for the opportunities she received at HPU.

“HPU faculty, staff and administrators were supportive of me throughout my journey, even in challenging moments,” says Ellman. “They were forthcoming with advice and assistance such as when I was preparing to go to a TEDActive Conference my freshman year, which was designed for young adults to learn and gain access to unprecedented networking opportunities. Going there, led to me to London during the 2012 Olympics where I independently trained under the BBC.”

Ellman is moving full steam ahead on her career goals. In addition to meeting with Farah, she is the producer and head writer of “Deadline News” for the humor website Cracked, and is working on creating a new web series, “The Less Attractive Friend.”

“I plan on submitting it to the College Emmys, airing it on HPUTV and submitting it to various humor-driven websites,” explains Ellman. “It is a female-driven comedy set in college. It is exciting because the story and concept focus on a relatable yet untapped mind-set.”

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